Children carried out almost half of sex crimes in 2016.
The Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme stats show 334 sex offences involving under 18s were reported that year.
This number shows a 39 percent rise on 2015.
The cases involved 114 of rape and 21 of child abuse images.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy told The Times Ireland Edition that more training and policy development is needed.